Thoughtful Gifts from Hawaii


Photograph by Jack French

Valley heat is back in Sacramento, and my family and friends have abandoned California for Hawaii.   So here I am in Sacramento.  I climb into the cold water of  our Jacuzzi and sit there until my fingers and toes turn into prunes.  I pretend I’m in ocean water.  I also pretend not to take it personal that none of them offered to take me with them.

Yeah, right!

Stuck in 100+ Degrees

Let me tell you about the valley heat.  Usually, it’s here around July and August, but for some reason it’s now here in May of this year and breaking all kinds of records.  Face it.  You want athletes and Olympians to break records–not the weather.  And here are the common symptoms of valley heat:

  • You take a walk around 9:30 a.m., and within an hour, your face and scalp are saturated with sweat .  Your clothes stick to your back and legs.
  • From noon to about 4 p.m., you want to crawl under a rock.
  • Flowers and plants wilt.  Or maybe they’re wilting because California is still in severe drought mode.  Or maybe it’s a combination of heat and the lack of water.Image
  • If you have plants in pots instead of them being directly in the ground, you are a slave to them because you have to water them every day.  If not, those plants will wilt and the die in the heat.
  •  You buy sunscreen in bulk.  You have a wardrobe of hats.
  • The creatures (rats and other wildlife) and bugs (mosquitoes, ants, aphids, etc.) don’t need an invitation to join your world.
  •  Some people enjoy the sun and the valley heat.  The rest of us complain and snarl or snap at one another.

Gifts to Tame this Pouting Woman

The nerve of my family and friends.  They stay in Hawaii from one to three weeks.  Sometimes, they don’t even tell me that they’re going!  They just leave and don’t say anything until they come back.

Call me a tourist.  Call me a traveler.  I don’t care.  As a rule, I don’t ask any of these people to bring me anything from their travels.  Why?  Well, because it’s rude.  If you want something from a certain destination, go there yourself and buy it.

Souvenirs are a waste of money because they collect dust or finally end up at Goodwill or any charity thrift shop.  And stopping to buy postcards and finding a place to mail them is a waste of time.  Anyone who frequently travels does not want to be tied down.  You don’t stop and waste your time at a gift shop looking for trinkets because someone back home wants something.  Wants to live vicariously through your travels.

Forget it!

Anyway, I don’t mind getting travel gifts if people are willing to give them to me.  How thoughtful is that?

Hawaiian Shortbread Cookies and a Boy Toy Calendar from Hawaii

In my family, I have two fellas I can depend on for gifts from their Hawaiian vacations.  They know I will be just tickled to receive anything they give me.  I jump up and down and dance around the room.  Can you blame me?

The Packaging

I admire an attractive package.  I have the gene for it.  My mother, brother and I all admire attractive bags and boxes.  In fact, in the 80s, I used to work in the gift wrap section of two Sacramento department stores during Christmas.  I discovered  this obsession with wrapping paper, decorative gift bags, ribbon, and Christmas ornaments.




So now me and Mister Jack have these yummy Hawaiian shortbread cookies to fight over.  And this 2015 Men of Hawaii (starting with November 2014) is just for me.  I need to find a place to hang this calendar now.

I may be married and turning 56 at the end of the month, but I am not dead.  At my age, I am an old married lady who will alwaysl appreciate beefcake.

Woo Hoo!!!


Can’t Make it to Hawaii this Year?

Don’t feel bad.  Of course, you can always order online.  Here are two links for some of the many popular tourism products that support the state and the people of Hawaii:







  1. marlenebertrand · May 17, 2014

    Oh, I know what you mean about souvenirs. When I’m traveling, I don’t even think about souvenirs. I want to bring something back, but I’m usually at the airport before I slap myself on the head and say, “Souvenirs! I forgot to buy souvenirs!” But, people want souvenirs. I don’t like to shop for such things, so what I started doing (on the occasions I remembered in time) was buy magnets from places I’ve been and hand out magnets when I got home. However, on this last trip from South Carolina, I forgot to buy magnets. My brother suggested I pick some up at the gift shop, but I was too lazy to walk all the way back to the gift shop just for some magnets. So, guess what? He went to the gift shop and when he got back, he handed me a cute little magnet with the words “South Carolina” on it. That was really sweet of him. I got a souvenir of my own trip, but I didn’t bring anything back for anyone else. Oh well…

    So, the thing I’m enjoying about all this heat is that I can go outside without being bitten by mosquitos. No water, no mosquitos. I can take a little heat for that exchange. When California wasn’t in a drought, mosquitos would rally around me quickly the moment I went outside. I keep mosquito repellent on a shelf right outside my back door so that I can spray it on right away. In previous (no drought) weather, I couldn’t apply mosquito repellent fast enough. I’d always end up with three or more bites on me and even after spraying the repellent on me it seemed like there was always a super-hero mosquito that would have to sting me anyway, just for good measure. It’s as if the mosquito clan were egging him on saying, “Way to go, partner! Get her! Get her good!” But, I noticed this year, I have rarely been stung, even without wearing mosquito repellent.

    Well, Arlene, enjoy your Jacuzzi in this heat. As for your family and friends who left for Hawaii without letting you know, hmmmmm, I’m keeping my comments to myself. But, I’m glad to see that you are being treated well. Those chocolate covered cookies look yummy and the packaging is delightful.

  2. Arlene Poma · May 21, 2014

    Marlene, I was once told that Skin So Soft by Avon repels mosquitoes. West Nile Virus is very prevalent in my neck of the woods. I believe several elderly people and even horses have died from it. Anyway, I may be ordering a case of it from you if the stuff from the store doesn’t work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s